Gallery: Student-Designed Solar Car Smashes World Speed Record

Computer mock-up of the Sunswift IVy

At 10:30 this morning in Australia, the Sunswift IVy soared past the world record for the fastest solar car in the world, traveling at more than 88km/h. Designed and built by students at the University of New South Wales, the car is entirely powered by silicon solar cells and produces about 1200 watts — the same amount of power required to run a toaster. Judges from the Guinness Book of World Records were on hand to award the Sunswift team its official certificate.

Sunswift is a full-scale, multi-disciplinary solar racing team that has designed and built four solar cars. The students normally race the vehicles themselves, but for the world record attempt, a professional race car driver took the wheel. Project manager Daniel Friedman said the team was thrilled by the car’s performance. “We were expecting to get our peak sun at noon, so the fact we broke the record so early was a great result,” he said. During the 3000km Global Green Challenge race from Darwin to Adelaide in 2009, IVy reached a top speed of 103 km/h.

“We hope this news will spur a lot more interest in solar energy and the debate about renewable energy technology,” said Friedman.

+ Sunwift IVy


Images © Sunswift


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  1. KKE January 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Am I reading this wrong, or has the wrong team gotten the Guiness World Record? Some have had a higher AVERAGE than they got as their top speed in the World Solar Challenge…

  2. epijay January 10, 2011 at 11:09 am

    At some point, as with gasoline, the use of large qualntities of solar energy for purposes not intended by Nature must have its ocnsequences

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